Kukla's Korner

Flyers Planning Changes

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Anthony J. SanFilippo of the Daily Times,

The person I spoke with will remain anonymous, just know that it’s someone within the organization who has full knowledge of what the team’s personnel decisions and plans are.

Here is what he said to me:

“We can’t go into next year with the same situation or a similar situation in goal that we have right now. What happened this year is really nobody’s fault. Ray (Emery) came in here and did everything we asked and was good until he got hurt. We got lucky with (Michael) Leighton, but we can’t expect to win doing things this way in goal.

“It’s already been decided that our No. 1 priority for next season is to get a goalie. We have to go out and get that player and commit to him as our guy.

“It’s probably going to mean somebody is going to have to be traded away, especially if we go after a young goalie on another team, but that’s what we’re going to have to do.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The West Is Best

Blog: The Puck Stops Here By PuckStopsHere

The NHL regular season is almost over and we see that the West Conference remains stronger than the East Conference this season.  The West has a 152-103 (with 28 regulation tie points) record against East Conference teams.  Almost sixty percent of inter-conference games have wound up with the West Conference winning.  The only West teams that do not have winning records against the East are Edmonton, Dallas, Columbus and Anaheim (the latter two have apparent winning records when the point for losing is taken into account).

This inequity between conferences is seen in the NHL standings.  Colorado has 89 points and holds down the last playoff spot in the West.  In the East, Boston is in the last playoff spot with only 80 points.  Calgary looks likely to miss playoffs in the West.  They have a 38-38 record (with 9 regulation tie points) that would have them sixth in the East.  This compares with the Boston Bruins 34-40 (with 12 regulation tie points) record that looks good enough for playoffs in the East.

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Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink

Gaborik Needs To Show Up

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Where’s Gabby?

It’s difficult to know what is more troubling, that Marian Gaborik played poorly enough (again) to merit benching for the final 8:15 of the second period in the Rangers’ 3-2 overtime loss in Toronto on Saturday night, or that coach John Tortorella believed that benching the team’s lone marquee forward was the only way to jump-start him.

Seriously, with all of the issues the Rangers must surmount over the final seven games that after a season of good health now include knee injuries to top-six forwards Ryan Callahan and Sean Avery, the most perplexing is Gaborik’s recent penchant for disappearing at both ends of the ice for shifts at a time.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marian+gaborik

Can You Boo And Be Happy At The Same Time?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Ted Leonsis of Ted’s Take,

I don’t mind when fans boo and I don’t mind when fans vent. It is your right. We live in a newly interactive society and a world of great self expression.

We want to do well for you, our great fans. Thank you for caring so much.

We have played very well as of late “you are what your record says you are” but I understand we didn’t play well yesterday.

I have no beef with your emails. I have no beef with your comments. I have no beef with your booing.

Self express away.

But try to be happy. I know you can do it.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink

European Analyst Needed

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,

To have no European voice doing colour commentary, between-period analysis or sitting on one of those endless hockey “panels” – even if he keeps picking at his BlackBerry – is simply ludicrous given what NHL hockey has become.

Last year alone, a Russian, Alexander Ovechkin, won the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player, the Art Ross as its leading scorer, the Rocket Richard as its top goal-getter and the Pearson as the one the players themselves deem best overall – but nowhere will you find a Russian voice to explain how it was that such a machine was built.

Where is there any European analyst to tell us about different training theories, coaching tactics, skill development?


Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Good Game But Still A Loss

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

Here’s the problem: they didn’t win the game. And another: that wasn’t the real Sharks they played tonight. That was San Jose’s B Team. No Joe Thornton, no Evgeni Nabokov, no Rob Blake. First-line center, starting goalie, arguably the top D-man – not in the lineup.

That’s why I’m not really buying into the “If we play like that down the stretch, we’ll be OK…” company line espoused afterward.

This was another big wasted opportunity tonight. They should have found a way to get something, but kicked it all away. Yes, those third-period goals by San Jose were lucky bounces, but what seemed lost a bit on the players were the things they did before those goals, that allowed them to happen. Both times, the Avs had the puck with good time and space to get it out of the zone, and both times they made soft plays and turned it over. If the puck gets out of the zone, there is no chance for either lucky goal to happen.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Colorado Avalanche, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Chicago Could Be A Tired Team

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Tim Sassone of Working the Corners at the Chicago Daily-Herald,

Coach Joel Quenneville would never admit his team is tired – or at least those key players that went to the Olympics.

But there’s no denying Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane, Brent Seabrook and even Marian Hossa haven’t been the difference makers they were before they went to Vancouver last month.

After losing 4-2 to 14th-place Columbus on Sunday night, the Hawks have won only five of 13 games since the Olympic break.

Keith is minus-7 since the Olympics and Seabrook minus-4. Toews is minus-8 in those 13 games with 3 goals. Kane is minus-8 with only 3 goals.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink

All Those Phrases

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star,

A weekend of hockey-watching produced a torrent of mind-numbing phrases. There were references to puck presence, puck support, puck poise, puck pressure and net presence. Outside of an obvious love for alliteration, those who utter these words may have no better idea of what they mean than do the poor saps at home.

On Saturday night, Hockey Night In Canada’s Kevin Weekes talked about the Toronto Maple Leafs’ “neutral zone posture,” which apparently had nothing to with straight spines.

Later in the evening, analyst Garry Galley praised the Florida Panthers’ “comeback capabilities.”

And when did the boards become “the wall” and what the heck is “a saucer pass?”

It’s as if somebody decided that speaking English makes for bad broadcasting. Or maybe it’s that all these guys heard somebody else use these phrases, figured he must know what he’s talking about and followed suit.


Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink

How Much Harder Can They Work?

Blog: KK Hockey By Paul

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

For going on 15 years now – or dating back to Brian’s days as the team’s coach – a succession of Sutters has been telling a succession of Calgary Flames teams that the solution to their various and sundry problems was to work harder.

Brent Sutter, the third Sutter brother to man the Flames’ bench in that span, was riffing on that theme again Saturday on the heels of a dismal 5-0 loss to the Boston Bruins in which they frittered away their last best chance of landing a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Yesterday’s 5-3 victory over the Washington Capitals notwithstanding, the Flames are now at a point where they either need to change the message or change the messenger – and given their recent freefall in the NHL standings, the postmortems can start already.

A top-to-bottom evaluation of the organization is in order, beginning with president Ken King, but focusing primarily on general manager Darryl Sutter, whose panic moves before the NHL trading deadline were designed to salvage a season teetering on the brink


Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Another Perspective on Herm 2 Hockeytown

Blog: KK Members Blog By J.J. from Kansas

The Herm 2 Hockeytown weekend has finally come and gone and everybody is no doubt left with a ton of great memories and fantastic feelings about what the hockey community has accomplished in committing to this undertaking. 

If it’s possible, I want to make sure you feel even better about what, exactly, everybody accompllished, even if they only donated money and didn’t join the get together.  Heck, even if you donated money and cheered for the Wild to run over the Red Wings, I want you to know that I can’t thank you enough for what you have done for somebody.

As you no doubt know, the H2H donation drive reached the amount needed to bring Guilherme from Brazil pretty quickly; from there, all donations went to the Childrens Hospital of Michigan.  I donated with little more than a nebulous knowledge that what I was doing for a good cause.

This week, I got to learn first-hand just how much of a good cause it is.

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Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink

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